London: The Test series drubbing may have forced India's charismatic leader Mahendra Singh Dhoni to hum the popular Hindi classic Chhodo kal ki baatein, kal ki baat purani from the movie Hum Hindustani to his teammates, who will be up against a formidable England side on September 3 for the five-match ODI series.
Though the England tour started on a disastrous note, the Indians can still make amends in the 50-over format and end the tour on a better note. Recent wins in the one-day practice matches against Sussex and Kent would have done a great deal to their confidence.
"Sometimes, it is just that one little thing that can affect a turnaround in the team. One-dayers are very different from Test cricket. I am pretty optimistic of India beating England in the ODIs. They definitely look better than England and being world champions will surely be a big boost to their attitude," UK-based former India stumper Farokh Engineer told SUNDAY MiD DAY.
India may have meekly surrendered their World No 1 spot to England in the Test series, but taking into account the injuries at crucial time to players like Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir made Dhoni's team vulnerable.
The five ODIs will be a real test of character for the World Champion team. The recent West Indies tour hardly posed any challenges as most of the senior players skipped the ODI series, which India won 3-2. Inclusion of young legs like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma would surely add some much-needed zing to the Indian squad, but Sehwag would be dearly missed.
While Dhoni had just the 1971, 1986 and 2007 Test series wins to serve as inspiration before the Lord's Test, the Indian skipper can look up to many memorable winning moments in the 50-over format. Right on top would be the 1983 World Cup final when Kapil's Devils upset two-time world champs West Indies.
Then, there is the 1999 World Cup in which India started poorly, losing to South Africa and Zimbabwe first up. They won their next three -- against Kenya, Sri Lanka and England. A loss to Australia at the Oval was followed by yet another World Cup game win over arch-rivals Pakistan.
In fact, Dhoni's men would relate better to the 2002 Natwest Series final when youngsters Yuvraj and Mohammad Kaif chased the then record total of 325 runs to leave Naseer Hussain's men shell shocked. The spontaneous shirt-waving act by skipper Sourav Ganguly in the Lord's balcony immediately after the win is now a part of cricketing folklore.
Engineer believes India's chances in the ODIs have always been better as compared to the Tests. "You need extraordinary technique to play Test cricket in England. It is not everybody's cup of tea. I don't think the Indian batsmen would struggle in the one-dayers as much they did in the Tests. That's why I rate India's chances higher of winning the ODIs," the 73-year-old said from Manchester.
Engineer urged Dhoni's men to think like world champions. "Let's think like world champs. Let's tell the English boys that we are not going to surrender to you easily. We should put up a fight to remember. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase our superiority," he added before predicting a 3-2 series' scoreline.